6 Audition Tips!
Written by Bruce H. Newberg, C.S.A.


Find out as much as you can before the audition. Knowledge is power. If

you’re auditioning for the lead in a film or television show, read the script if

it’s available. Don’t rely on the one or two line descriptions in the

Breakdown or on a thumbnail description from your agent. If you’re

auditioning for a guest role in a television series, make sure to watch an

episode or two. It’s very important to understand the tone of the material

and to grasp how your character fits into the story.


Take the time to research the Casting Director, The Director and The

Producers. See what work they’ve done in the past and you may get some

insight about their taste and preferences. A good way to find out about a

Casting Director you haven’t met before is to talk to other actors who have.

Actors who have read for me know that I respond best to actors who are

well trained, particularly to those who’ve done a lot of theater and that I

respond better to actors who are well prepared and come in with a strong

point of view of their characters and are clear on how their role fits into the



I’ve never hired an actor who looks at the sides for the first time in the

waiting room and wings it. I can always tell who is familiar with the

material and who isn’t. Knowing your lines is just the beginning. I can’t

judge an actor who’s face is buried in the script. Eye contact is key for me

and for the camera. A good audition scene requires the right tone, the right

pace and most importantly, a through-line. Figure out what your character

wants or needs in the scene — ask yourself what is their agenda. A good

audition scene is also one that is shaped well - it should build and have a

beginning, middle and end. Otherwise it will just be flat and not lift off the



Your own personality and particular blend of idiosyncrasies are your

strongest selling tools. Never force yourself into role. If you differ from

what’s described on paper - whether it’s the look or type or age or ethnicity

- an audition is an opportunity to show us what you have to offer and what

you can bring to the role. Often times the production team goes into an

audition looking for one thing and finding a different and more interesting

way to cast a role. We won’t believe you in a character unless you believe it

yourself. Come in with confidence and creativity. Don’t give us the best

version of what you think we want. Make it your own. As long as you are

faithful to the tone and the integrity of the material, your job is to create a

memorable character and one that is uniquely YOU. If ultimately you don’t

book the role, know that a good audition is valuable and that if you do good

work we will want to see you again for something else.


I don’t mean wear a costume. But it does help if you wear something that

makes you feel more like the character. If your character is supposed to be

sexy, wear something that makes you feel sexy. Characters are often rural or

urban and there are simple ways to suggest this in your wardrobe. The

more you audition, the better sense you will have about what your niche is

— do Casting Directors see you as a cop, a doctor, a lawyer, etc — and you

should have audition clothes on hand that will make it easier to see you as

these types of characters.


Always come in with a clear sense of the character and the tone and pace of

the material and then be ready to change any and all of it. I will often give

an actor a new direction, even if I like what they are doing. It’s important to

know that an actor can take direction on the set. It’s also very important

that an actor doesn’t require too much direction or too many takes to get it

right. Things move much faster on set where there are many more people

involved and much more money at stake. Don’t ask too many questions. If

you’re in the room with a director or producer, always remember that this

is a job interview. You want to come across as competent, skilled and

reliable. If you’re given a note, don’t get defensive about why you did it the

way you did. It doesn’t matter. The director is always right.

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